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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Basin Livestock Commission – ca. 1947

In 1937, retired meat salesman R.E. Rockhold noticed that local ranchers were having trouble getting fair prices for their livestock. To help, he and local ranchers Steve Simon, Cy Gray and R.W. Van Camp bought a lumber yard in downtown Durango, near where Liquor World is today, and started the Durango Sale Barn Co. It was just two blocks west of the Strater Hotel. Soon, townspeople were complaining about the smell and escaped livestock loose in the central business district. By October 1939, they had relocated the business 2½ miles south of town, where Home Depot stands today. This picture shows the rebranded company’s sale barn and stockyards in about 1947. The sale barn served a larger purpose than just livestock sales. It was also a community center for area farmers and ranchers. The Basin Livestock Commission closed its doors in December 1981 and was completely demolished by 1991. Durango’s popular Sale Barn Trailhead is so named because of its close proximity to the former site of this establishment. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum (Catalog Number: 19.04.1 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)